Damaged funeral home takes care of bodies after storm

(WJHG)
Published: Oct. 22, 2018 at 10:50 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

While many people are concerned with rebuilding their homes and getting supplies, several viewers reached out to us to find what happens to their deceased family members at damaged funeral homes.

Southerland Funeral Home President Steve Southerland said there are three major losses in someone's life: "loss of a loved one, loss of a home, and loss of a job."

We have people in our viewing area who experienced all three during Hurricane Michael.

Southerland is used to helping families through tough times, but now he's dealing the damage left behind by the hurricane. Southerland Funeral Home sustained damage inside and outside the Panama City location.

"We had just done an extensive remodel to this building," said Southerland. "All of this was brand new."

Southerland says since they lost power and other resources during the storm they had to close the facility.

"We're working right now, around the clock, to make sure this building is up," said Southerland. "It's a big task and I know all the funeral homes are working hard to get it back up online to take care of the death care needs here in our area."

After the storm, the funeral home sent 12 bodies to the Bay County Medical Examiner's Office to keep them secure while they make repairs.

"One of the things we have done and our family is working to do is to make sure the most intense loss, the loss of a loved one, that they know their loved one is cared for," said Southerland.

Southerland says while they're repairing the facility in Panama City, they are operating out of their second facility in Lynn Haven and say this is not unique to them. Many other funeral homes in the area are doing the same thing.